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Andrew Mount tipped Derby Winner Desert Crown as well as napping JRA Tokyo Trophy Handicap winner Mr Waygu at Epsom, which returned a handsome £14.02 with Tote+.

Our star columnist casts his eye over day one of the Royal Ascot meeting and picks out the best races to watch as well as stats, trends and most imporantly, his tips.

Day One - Tuesday 14th June

14:30 - Queen Anne Stakes (1m (str), Group 1)

The brilliant BAAEED bids to make it eight wins from eight career starts in the Queen Anne Stakes and it’s difficult to see him beaten. He’s priced accordingly – the 2-7 favourite at the time of writing – but I still believe there is a good betting opportunity in this race.

REAL WORLD took his record on turf to 111112 (5-6) when chasing home Baaeed in last month’s Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, which is also run over a straight mile, and could fill the Tote Exacta spot again (the Lockinge Exacta paid £3.50, compared to a computer straight forecast (CSF) of just £2.82).

Those looking for one at a bigger price or wanting to play the Trifecta could do worse than consider SIR BUSKER. He was third at 33-1 in this race last year when favourably drawn in stall 9 (first three drawn 11, 8 and 9 of 11) and he won the Silver Royal Hunt Cup Handicap at this meeting in 2020.

15:05 - Coventry Stakes  (6f, Group 2, 2yo)

The first juvenile contest of the week looks like being a cracker, with Aidan O’Brien’s BLACKBEARD high on the shortlist. He’s unbeaten in three starts, showing a willing attitude to nab CRISPY CAT on the line in a 5f Listed contest at the Curragh on his second outing before a comfortable victory over an extra furlong at the same venue.

He’s US bred, a strong statistical pointer for this race. This century, US-bred favourites (including joint or co-favourites) are seven from 14 for a profit of £12.63 to a £1 level stake at Starting Price (SP). The six trained by Aidan O’Brien recorded form figures of 310111. There was an antepost move for Blackbeard on Thursday (June 9th) and he could well start as favourite.

One note of caution, however, the draw had a strong influence on last year’s race when the two highest-drawn runners finished first (11-1) and third (25-1). Runner-up Eldrickjones performed miracles to grab second place from stall 2 at 66-1 and the 4-1 favourite could only finish sixth. This was a real ‘Placepot buster’ and those lucky to get the bet up were rewarded with a £959 dividend to a £1 stake.

Charlie Appleby’s NOBLE STYLE impressed over 5f here on his debut last month and that form was given quite a boost when runner-up WALBANK scored by seven lengths in a fast time on his next outing. REDEMPTION TIME, almost five lengths behind the winner in third, also won at the next time of asking. The step up to 6f should suit.

PERSIAN FORCE and ROUSING ENCORE are others to consider, though Richard Spencer’s WAITING ALL NIGHT, the 100-1 outsider at the time of writing, could surprise. He bids to follow in footsteps of his sire, RAJASINGHE, who won this race for the same yard in 2017.

He looked to be crying out for step up to 6f when fifth at Sandown last time out and James Doyle is a good booking. Patient tactics are usually favoured in big fields on the straight course at Ascot and Doyle’s 52-winner haul at Ascot (from 438 rides) exceeds the expected numbers of winners based on their odds by ten.

15:40 - King’s Stand Stakes (5f, Group 1, 3yo+)

This is one of my favourite races of the meeting and I went NAP on last year’s 28-1 runner-up ARECIBO when the draw again played an important part in proceedings. The first two finishers came from stalls 14 and 15 of 16, with the Tote Exacta outscoring the CSF by £142 to £119. Quite why I didn’t save on my pick to finish second to some of the more fancied runners is a question that still troubles me!

ARECIBO bids to go one better this year and left a disappointing comeback effort well behind when a 28-1 third of ten in the Temple Stakes at Haydock last time. He emerged best of those to race in the smaller stands’ side group and could be thereabouts once more.

GOLDEN PAL heads the antepost lists at around 9-4 but has tasted defeat in both previous British outings, finishing second over course and distance in the 2020 Norfolk Stakes and seventh in last season’s Nunthorpe at York.

If there’s to be an overseas winner then Chris Waller’s NATURE STRIP could be the one, though I prefer to back the bigger-priced local horses who are likely to be played late.

As well as Arecibo I want to throw EXISTENT into the mix. He had little to race with down the nearside in the Temple Stakes and raced freely as a result, doing well to finish fifth.

An end-to-end gallop in a big field will prove ideal and could also suit MONDAMMEJ, one place ahead of him at Haydock.

16:20 - St James’s Palace Stakes  (1m (rnd) Group 1, 3yo)

We’re on the round course here for the St James’s Palace Stakes in which COROEBUS is a very short price to follow up his 2000 Guineas victory. I thought he might have been a shade flattered from his favourable low draw (stall 1) that day and wouldn’t have beaten stablemate NATIVE TRAIL had that one not been stuck out in stall 15.

I’m probably wrong (I am about 73% of the time) and prefer to back LUSAIL at likely huge odds. He was poorly drawn in stall 12 of 15 in the 2000 Guineas, catching the eye with good late work down the stands’ side into an 80-1 sixth. He has just over five lengths to make up on Coroebus but is likely to be closer this time. His record in fields of ten or more runners stands at 11116 (4-5) and his stable won this with Barney Roy in 2017.

BAYSIDE BOY beat only a couple home in the Poule d’Essai Des Poulains at Longhcamp on his comeback but would have a squeak at a massive price judged on the pick of his juvenile efforts.

17:00 -  Ascot Stakes (2m4f handicap, 4yo+)

I’ve no strong opinion on the first handicap of the meeting, though Willie Mullins’ pair BRING ON THE NIGHT and MICRO MANAGE enter calculations, along with last year’s 66-1 winner RESHOUN.

It’s fascinating to see that Sam Thomas has entered two, including PADDYS MOTORBIKE who was fifth at 25-1 in the 2019 Queen Alexandra Stakes at this meeting. He has improved since allowed to make the running and could surprise.

 17:35 - Wolferton Stakes (1m2f Listed, 4yo+)

UNIVERSAL ORDER was a big price at the time of writing and could go well. He needed last month’s reappearance effort at Goodwood on his return from a 602-day absence and fared best of those to come from off the pace when a 28-1 second at Haydock three weeks later. He’s arguably best at 1m4f but there’s compensation in the price.


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